Political prisoners tortured in Insein prison: AAPP

May 28, 2008 (DVB), Six political prisoners in Insein prison have been beaten, shackled and held in solitary confinement, according to an information release issued by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners yesterday.

AAPP said six prisoners from Insein prison's No. 5 ward had been put in solitary confinement as a punishment for refusing to carry out prison duties.

"They were also hooded and severely beaten before being pushed into the isolation cells where they were held in shackles," the AAPP said.

Three of the six prisoners were members of the National League for Democracy , Thingangyun NLD chairman U Tin Mya, U Myint Htun from Shwepyithar and Ko Thant Zaw , while the others were Karen National Union members.

Ko Tate Naing, secretary of the AAPP, told DVB that the group had been unable to release the news earlier due to uncertainty about the information.

"We can now verify that those six political prisoners were held in solitary confinement. They were there for ten days until 20 May," he said.

"One of them has already been visited by a family member. They all are still shackled."

The AAPP also mentioned in its statement that the health of female political prisoners had deteriorated due to unclean water.

"We have heard that their health situation is concerning. They have to use unclean water for drinking and other purposes," said Tate Naing.

"In the beginning we heard they had scabies and other skin diseases but now they are getting worse. They haven't been given the necessary treatment."

A riot broke out in Insein prison when the Cyclone Nargis struck Burma on 3 May, during which 36 inmates were killed and over 70 injured.

After a closed door investigation by the authorities, 98 inmates including seven political prisoners were locked up for interrogation, which lead to the deaths of an additional four prisoners.

There are currently more than 1900 political prisoners who remain behind bars in Burma.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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